Here on Mindboggled, we’ve spoken about Facebook and the woes of privacy issues previously, but let’s take a moment to discuss Facebook’s newly acquired little sister, Instagram.
Developed in 2010 as a photo sharing app on both iOS and Android platforms, Instagram quickly acquired an astonishingly large user base of 100 million by September 2012. In April 2012, Facebook made a play and purchased Instagram (and its 13 employees) for 1 billion dollars (the New York Times est. in 1851 is currently worth 50 million dollars less).
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Recently in Sweden, an Instagram account amassing approximately 7000 followers was created to identify local students engaging in promiscuous activities in the Gothenburg area. More than 200 pictures of boys and girls were uploaded to the account, according to Swedish news outlet The Local. After the Instagram account was disabled, a Facebook group was set up positing rumors about the alleged creator of the Instagram account. The Facebook group accused a 17 year old girl of creating the Instagram account and encouraged a student rally at the girl’s school. Hundreds of students turned up to the rally and approximately 27 students were arrested by local police.
This notion of social media users being at the mercy of social media giants are becoming increasing present in our societies. How much of ourselves do we own when we freely give away facets of our lives to social media giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? If we upload a photo of ourselves at a café in Brunswick, is that café legally allowed to print and post that image without our consent if we freely upload it to social media?
In the digital age, do we retain any ownership of our digital self?